Watkins Glen Pit Notes Friday 30 May, 1997 FIRST UNION SIX HOURS OF THE GLEN Friday, May 30, 1997 Welcome to the First Union Six Hours, the opening event of the 1997 racing season at Watkins Glen International. This is the first page...
Watkins Glen Pit Notes Friday
30 May, 1997
FIRST UNION SIX HOURS OF THE GLEN Friday, May 30, 1997
Welcome to the First Union Six Hours, the opening event of the 1997 racing season at Watkins Glen International.
This is the first page in Friday's series of notes and quotes. If you have any specific requests, please see J.J. O'Malley, Ann Connor, Karen Thompson, or Gwen Chamberlain at the Media Center.
ANDREA MONTERMINI (#30 Momo Ferrari 333SP) -- After mild contact with Butch Leitzinger's #16 Dyson Ford Riley & Scott MK3 during Thursday's testing, Montermini's Ferrari is running well. After overtaking and believing he was clear of Leitzinger, Montermini "Touched him on the front nose, and he basically spun." The two have discussed the incident, but Montermini is "very very sorry, but it is something that can happen."
BUTCH LEITZINGER (#16 Goodyear/Bosch Dyson Ford Riley & Scott Mk III) -- (on incident in Thursday testing) "We were going up the straight, and he (Montermini) went past me, and pulled in before he was actually past me, and just hit the right front corner and put me on the grass, and spun me into the barrier." Although the team missed a session because of the incident, the damage was not severe."It took a good lick on the front, but the car's made very well. It tore the body work, and they had to weld a couple of the body mounts to it. Luckily it didn't get into the suspension at all. It's running all right now, and we'll be all right."
SCOTT GOODYEAR (#45 GTS-1 Fantasy of Flight Porsche 911 Turbo) -- "I got in three laps in this morning's session before we had a transmission problem. Hopefully, we fixed it. We've had some problems with this car both at Daytona and Sebring. We've just battled with a few things. Hopefully, we'll have it sorted out and we can go out there and run a complete six hours. "The track's changed a little bit since I've been here last (he finished second in the 1989 New York 500, codriving an Auti Quattro with Hurley Haywood). The chicane (Inner Loop) on the back straight is new. It's pretty nice. I enjoy this track. I think it's one of the greatest road courses in the country. "I enjoyed that race with Hurley Haywood. The all-wheel drive Audi was a lot of fun. It would have been nice if it hadn't rained all day! (Hurricane Hugo hit that weekend) "Of course we're a little disappointed (with his second place finish in Tuesday's Indianapolis 500). We're there to win the thing, obviously. I'm not sure if we would have had a shot if we had a proper restart at the end, but it would have been nice to give it a go."
ANDY WALLACE (# 66 GTS-1 Ford Panoz) -- Wallace tested for Dyson Racing earlier this month but returns to race the Panoz. Although he greatly enjoys driving the WSC , the GT is also a good ride. "You have more downforce in a WSC so I can't go as quick in the corners. What I do have is a lot less aerodynamic drag because it's got a roof on and everything, so it's quick off the straight and slow around the corners. It's quite interesting." The car was the quickest GT in the earlier session, and Wallace expected it to be "There or thereabouts" in the second. The Dyson test did not include the Boot, as it wasn't yet prepared for racing, but has lived up to expectations. "It's a little slippery, because it's new, but the bumps are gone. There are one or two small ones now, but it's really great. The rest was fine already, so this now matches."
FRONT ROW QUALIFYING FOR THE FIRST UNION SIX HOURS
PERRY MCCARTHY (#03 Urd Rennwagenbau USA Inc. BMW Urd) -- McCarthy was towed off course during qualifying after losing power. "Motor, I think. I'm pretty sure it's the motor. In fact I know it's the motor. We'll change the engine, but our qualifying time is...out."
WAYNE TAYLOR (#1 Danka/Konica Oldsmobile Riley & Scott Mk III) -- "This track is now suited to the Ford and the Ferrari in terms of horsepower. This is a very fast track, you need maximum speed here, and that's one of the areas we've lacked the whole year. But when we got here the first day with the track surface and so on, and the car, I felt we had a very good chance to be competitive. But when Andrea ran a 39.6, I thought we'd be fighting for third or fourth place. The guys worked really hard, we had a different setup on the car. " The race promises to be as exciting a race as last year's. " I think it's going to be between the Fords, the Ferrari, and us. I'm looking forward to it. I have to say that this is now the best racing track in North America. I wish we could race on more circuits like this."
ANDREA MONTERMINI (#30 Momo Ferrari 333SP) -- Antonio Hermann won for the team on his birthday, and Montermini keeps up the tradition by landing a spot on the front row on his own day. "The team did a great job, and the car is fantastic. We can go even faster than what we did, we were just average. I am very lucky to run with this team. I saw this track yesterday for the first time, and it looks great to me, it looks very nice. It is a really proper circuit, very fast corners, very nice to drive. It's something that if you are passionate about racing cars, you enjoy it." Today's qualifying gives the team a head start as, now that they have their spot on the grid, they can work on their race setup.
ROSS BENTLEY (#88 Make-A-Wish/Winchester Chevrolet Riley & Scott Mk III) -- "Would you believe it! It starts raining just after qualifying! Rain equalizes the disadvantage we have in horsepower. We're real happy with our overall time. We've made some big improvements this season. The car is wonderful. I couldn't ask for a better handling car. We're just lacking a little power. We're probably 80 horsepower down to the Fords, and this is a power track. To be as close as we are tells you we have a great chassis, and it keeps getting better and better. I'll be very disappointed if we're not on the podium. Honestly, I feel we have a good shot at winning it. Our car is very consistent. Jeff (Jones), in my opinion, is showing great improvement and can hold his own against the other #2 drivers. At Road Atlanta, he really came into his own. We've got less horsepower, but the positive side to that is we get better fuel economy. In a six hour race, that can help us. If the yellows don't work against us, we can have a good result. pit notes
FIRST UNION SIX HOURS QUALIFYING
JAMES WEAVER (#16 Goodyear Ford Riley & Scott MK3) We had an accident yesterday that put us behind a bit, because we lost some track time. We were really running our race setup in qualifying." As a result, tomorrow will be something of a housekeeping day, tending to tasks such as scrubbing tires and such. As to the space between the two Dyson cars, Weaver offers the explanation that he is "a bit of a hooligan."
SPEEDVISION CUP QUALIFYING
MIKE DOOLIN (#59S Hillside Tire/DS BMW 328is) - It was tough. The BMW is running real well. We're real happy. We've been close in qualifying before this year, in the top three, but this is our first pole. Our best finish was a win in the 5 hour race at Sebring. (Will you win this one?) We're sure going to try.
DAVID DAUGHTERY (#78C Nissan 200SX) - I didn't have much time in the car. We had to drive all night and only had an hour and a half sleep in a rest stop, and I only had one lap in practice, but the car is working really good. This is the track where I got my first win, and now I got my first pole.
JOHN NORRIS (# 65T Nissan/GAB Shocks/Ground Control Nissan 240SX SE) - This is where we got our first win of the season last year, so so far Watkins Glen has been good. I don't normally remember qualifying, but I like to qualify it. I enjoy the intensity of qualifying. We were two seconds faster than the record. The car is really changed from last year, The tremendous difference has been in car development .
ANDY PILGRIM (#46GS Ford Mustang Cobra R) - I had a guy go over in the esses to look for rain. With him telling me it wasn't raining, everybody else was slower in the esses and over in turn six. By the time they figured it out, it didn't matter. If you don't put it (a fast lap) together in the first or second lap, your lost. I've had experience enough to know to go full blown full bore. Its not slippery. The cars are gripping extremely well. I was turning into the corners way faster than normal, and those Toyos just stuck. If it was totally dry, who knows. We lucked out getting the pole, but the car and tires worked well. (Did rule changes make a difference?) There are no problems now, but the turbos are just so fast. The turbos are extremely fast, so we are not able to run with them. It should take us five to six laps to catch the back of the field tomorrow, and if we stay green.
JASON PRIESTLY (#46GS Ford Mustang Cobra R) - Starting from the pole, I've never had that experience here before, but there's no extra pressure. The whole team came here to win, so we have that pressure all the time. We came here to win two races, which means a little extra work, but I enjoy getting the extra time. I don't get fatigued on these weekends. I'm too busy driving. Now, I'm very comfortable. Last year was my first year and as every race went by, I had more experience. To be in my second year this season, I'm still a novice, but Andy has helped me out a lot. I'm happy to be faster than an lot of top guys, but I still have a lot of work to do. I was on the pole at Mosport last year in August. I'll prepare for this no differently than any other start. It's all about getting into the first turn first, and getting through it cleanly. I enjoy starting up front. I'm more than happy to do it.